Walmart Rises from Small Town Shop to Worldwide Phenomenon
When Sam Walton founded Walmart in 1962 in a little town in Arkansas, little did he know what kind of empire he was starting. Through the years, the company has had its successes and failures, dealing with positive moments and controversial issues the same. The multinational company has fought for everything they have and at the end of 2012, Fortune 500 ranked them as the third largest public corporation in the world.
History and Background
While Walton founded the company in 1962, it wasn’t until 1969 that it was incorporated and it wasn’t until 1972 that it began being traded on the New York Stock Exchange. The company is headquartered in Bentonville, Arkansas and offers customers a little of everything from groceries to bicycles and entertainment items to accessories for men. In 2009, between Walmart and Sam’s Club – a Walmart owned company – more than 51 percent of grocery store purchases in the United States came from the company.
Walmart has more than 8,500 stores and can be found in 15 countries under more than 50 different names. The store has been a hit in some nations like China and the United Kingdom, while it wasn’t nearly as successful in Germany and South Korea.
The transformation of Walmart never stops. Just when you think they have done as much as they can to one-up the competition, they continue to add more services to their catalog. When you shop on the Walmart website, you have the chance to see the lowest price between the web and in-store. You also have a chance to purchase items that aren’t offered in your home store that are offered on their website. Instead of then paying high shipping costs, your item can then be shipped directly to your local store for free. For most items, this process takes only a few days from placing your order to receiving your item.
Problems with other Retailers
Across the US, there are regular Walmart stores and then there are Walmart Supercenters. At these locations, consumers have the opportunity to pick up a larger selection of products including video equipment and Android phones to prescription medication and footwear. Despite their large selection of products, things haven’t always been easy for the company. The success of Amazon.com, Best Buy and other franchises have made Walmart become even more affordable for the everyday consumer looking to get a cheap LCD TV, clothing or garden tools. It is safe to say that Amazon is Walmart’s greatest competition as the Internet retailer can offer the same items for less than even Walmart can. This competition between the two companies has led to a win-win situation for consumers as both companies continue to try and win over new customers.
The biggest difference between Amazon.com and Walmart is the Internet giant isn’t bad-mouthed around small towns like Walmart. Most feel that Walmart is the reason why many smaller mom and pop shops go out of business as they can’t compete with the lower prices. To some, this is a fair assumption, but in the business world, it is never just one reason why a company closes down shop. This is part of the biggest problem facing Walmart today.